St. Patrick’s Day has got to be my favorite Boozy Chef holiday with so many spirits to choose from. No matter what I’m cooking up in the kitchen, it just feels like a party!
This version of Shepherd’s Pie is one of my most requested recipes! Made with Irish Whiskey – a lot of it – the flavor is phenomenal. Comfort food with rich, deep flavor.
I first came up with this recipe by mistake. I had made Whiskey Butter to go along with the Soda Bread I was making for a St. Patrick’s Day catering event and realized too late I’d used up all the butter. No butter left for my traditional Shepherd’s Pie made with Sherry wine and buttery mashed potatoes, and a catering due out the door in just a few hours! Panic.
So I threw it in. Whiskey Butter went into the potatoes, the sauce, everything – and (thank heavens) it was fabulous! Guests at the catering event were raving about it, even calling me afterward to see if I would share the recipe. It quickly became one of the most popular dishes on the menu and, after careful measuring and tweaking, I finally have it in written recipe form. I tested this final version on family and neighbors for last night’s dinner and it’s a winner. I made a triple batch thinking we would have leftovers – not a one! Every plate clean. 🙂
I recommend starting with a quality Irish Whiskey. I use Bushmill’s because I love the flavor and it holds up well to cooking.
As with other Boozy Chef recipes, I highly recommend Knorr’s Liquid Concentrate Beef Base. If you have a Cash & Carry near you, they usually carry it or you can find it online. It really is my “secret ingredient” for anything made with stock. (And no, Knorr’s doesn’t pay me to say it. I just really love the product.) 🙂
If you don’t have Knorr’s, you can substitute another beef base product, but you’ll need to play with the amounts and adjust for taste. Most of them are overly salty.
You may also notice that this recipe calls for baking the potatoes for mashing. You could boil your potatoes and mash in the traditional way; however, I find that covering the potatoes in a paste of kosher salt and olive oil, then roasting them, brings out the most flavor. You’ll find these mashed potatoes have a caramel note that is really delicious.
Another important tip: To get light, fluffy mashed potatoes, it’s important not to overwork them. Too much mixing builds up the starch content and make the potatoes tough and heavy. Instead, I recommend using a ricer to mash the potatoes. Simply peel, push through (hot or cold), fold in your additional ingredients and you’re done. Perfect mashed potatoes.
So here’s the recipe along with a printable version and please comment – I’d love to hear from you!
~ The Boozy Chef
P.S. Here’s the whiskey I used for this recipe: